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Friday, November 21, 2014

Bay Area Tree Lighting Ceremonies 2014


It's more exciting to watch a giant tree get lit up, than watch your own. So head to these tree lightings for some holiday fun.

SAN FRANCISCO
What: Rec and Park's 85th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
When: Thursday, December 4, time TBA (last year it was 4-8)
Where: McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park
Activities: TBA - last year they had train rides, live entertainment and Santa visits.

What: Union Square, Macy's 25th annual tree lighting
When: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 6 p.m. for the ceremony, actual tree lighting at 6:40
Where: Union Square
Activities: entertainment; it gets crowded so arrive early

What: Ghirardelli Square Tree Lighting
When: Friday, November 28, 2014 at 5:30 (activities 4-9)
Where; Ghirardelli Square
Activities: live music, kids' entertainment, Santa visit


What: Ritz-Carlton Tree Lighting
When: Thursday, December 4, 2014; activities from 5:30-7:30
Where: 600 Stockton Street
Activities: the tree will be lit by Santa Claus and a helper from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Dickens-era costumed carolers will perform holiday songs throughout the hotel while you enjoy complementary cider, hot chocolate and cookies. After the ceremony, kids can take photos and visit with Santa in the Terrace Room.

St. Francis Sugar Tree - photo by Peter Medilek, photo courtesy of Westin St. Francis
What: "St. Francis Sugar Tree" unveiling
When: Wednesday, November 26 at 11 a.m. (on display through January 2, 2015)
Where: Westin St. Francis - Landmark Lobby
Activities: You're invited to attend. Free hot chocolate and cookies. Created by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré and his team, this 12-feet-tall rotating tree features more than 1,000 pieces of glistening candy made from pulled and blown sugar embellishing five large circular layers. A Christmas tree created entirely from pulled sugar will adorn the top. You'll see rows of colorful, handmade snowmen, sugar ribbons, gift boxes, Christmas trees, candy canes, elves, stars and ornaments.
St. Francis Sugar Tree - photo by Peter Medilek, photo courtesy of Westin St. Francis
What: Pier 39 Tree Lighting with Disney characters.
When: Saturday-Sunday, November 22 and 23 at 6 p.m. with a full schedule of activities starting at noon
Activities: Starting at noon, there's meet and greet with Disney characters, comedy, music, letters to Santa and more. See full schedule here.

PALO ALTO
What: Annual Tree Lighting
When: Saturday, November 29 from 4-7 p.m.
Where: Lytton Plaza (Emerson/University)
Activities: Decorate your own tree ornament, listen to live bands, bell ringers and carols and visit with the elves.
Photo courtesy of EmPemm/Flickr*

SAN JOSE
What: Santana Row’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
When: Tuesday, November 18, from 3-9 p.m.
Activities: Santana Row kicks off the 2014 holiday season with the annual Light Up the Row tree lighting ceremony, a joyous day of celebration for the entire family. The day of holiday festivities begins at 3 p.m. with photos with performances by dancers from Ballet San Jose. The fun continues throughout the afternoon and evening with live music, costumed characters, special guests and performances by local theater and dance groups. The highlight of the day takes place at 7 p.m. in Santana Row Park with the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree. Many of the restaurants will offer dining specials, kid-friendly menus and holiday-themed cocktails during the event. In-store parties, hot chocolate sampling, cookies and appetizers will also add to the festivities.

EAST BAY
What: Jack London Square Tree Lighting
When: Friday, December 5, 2014 from 5-7 p.m.
Activities: Tap Dancing Christmas trees, a jingle bell dance contest, festive music, entertainment from Oakland-based Dance-A-Vision, cookie decorating, ornament making, a holiday pop-up with 90 local artisans and more. The evening ends with the lighting of a 55-ft. Mt. Shasta fir tree covered in 5,000 lights and 600 ornaments.

What: Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza Tree Lighting
When: Friday, December 5, 2014 from 6-9 p.m.
Activities: Music, festivities and Santa lighting the tree - plus snow!

MARIN
What: Parade of Lights - Winter Wonderland
When: Friday-Saturday, November 28-29 - see website for times
Activities: Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, free snow sledding, and one of the largest holiday parades in the Bay Area. The event starts at noon with free snow sledding and kids’ activities, a holiday marketplace and the parade begins at 5:30. Following the Parade, Santa, Ms. Claus and other costumed characters arrive with the Mayor of San Rafael to the center of town in the City Plaza to light the official holiday tree. Following the ceremony, Santa and friends are available for a meet and greet with the kids.

HALF MOON BAY
What/Activities: Tree lighting
When: Sunday, December 7; 4:30-6:30
Where: Ritz-Carlton's Ocean lawn
Activities: Lighting of the outdoor tree, holiday carolers, a visit by Santa Claus and complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider, eggnog and cookies.

I originally wrote this post for Mommy Nearest.

Photo courtesy of EmPemm/Flickr

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